Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Mark Hahnel. Mark is the CEO and founder of Figshare, which currently provides research data infrastructure for institutions, publishers, and funders globally.
There has been much made of the recent Nature news declaration of the NIH Data Policy (from January 2023) as ‘seismic’. In my opinion, it truly is. Many others will argue that the language is not strong enough. But for me, the fact that the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world is telling researchers to share their data demonstrates how fast the push for open academic data is accelerating.
Institutions, research funding bodies and publications have policies calling upon researchers to make their data open. There has been much written about the virtues of open data and the practicalities of achieving it (e.g. consent and acknowledgement and extending authorship). But has practice in this area changed much? Or are we barely complying with those policies? This Scholarly Kitchen looks at those questions and explores the state of play.
What has been achieved in the last ten years?
My company, Figshare, provides data infrastructure for research organizations and also acts as a free generalist repository. We recently received funding as part of the NIH GREI project to improve the generalist repository landscape and collaborate with our colleagues at Dryad, Dataverse, Mendeley Data, Open Science Framework, and Vivli. This community of repositories has witnessed first-hand the rapid growth of researchers publishing datasets and the subsequent need for guidance on best practices.